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White Man’s Burden – the Israeli Occupation “Civil Administration” Version

White Man’s Burden – the Israeli Occupation “Civil Administration” Version

(crossposted from the Villages Group blog) Dear Friends, By a miracle of sorts, we had a mostly peaceful day in South Hebron today; such an event is so rare that I thought it might be worth mentioning to you. In lieu of a more substantial report, let me just say that Abu Sharif and Fadil plowed three fields, with an iron plow and a donkey, on one end of the wadi at … Read entire article »


What’s Behind Israel’s Boom-and-Bust Economic Cycles? It’s the Occupation, Silly

What’s Behind Israel’s Boom-and-Bust Economic Cycles? It’s the Occupation, Silly

One of the great successes of the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign has been the re-branding and re-packaging of Israel as a “Start-Up Nation”, attributing the source of its current wealth to its burgeoning hi-tech sector. As we know, the best propaganda is based on grains of truth, aided by people’s short memory and selective access to information. To wit, the … Read entire article »

Just One More Unremarkable Arrest

A friend wrote to us about a young ill Palestinian mother who was recently arrested in the West Bank, and their efforts to free her. This is the kind of ocurrence that happens routinely, yet is rarely covered in the press.  Physicians for Human Rights-Israel documented in 2008 how these kinds of actions are often used to recruit low-level collaborators, as described here. It is very rare to hear directly of the physical and psychological costs on those arrested and their families.  See the letter below and click on the link at the end to learn more about this case, and how you can help. Last Monday my dear friend Hiba was arrested by IDF … Read entire article »

Today in Jayyous

A picture of tear gas being shot by the Israeli army on unarmed protesters in the Palestinian village of Jayyous, who are holding Friday demonstrations to protest their land being taken by Israel. Photo by Mohammed Othman. You can follow what’s happening in Jayyous here. … Read entire article »

Israeli Voters Upset with Bibi – But will they Upset him Back?

Over the past couple of months, there seems to have developed growing disconnect between most of Israel’s political analysts – and the actual dynamics of the campaign for Israel’s general elections, which will take place in only 3 days. In October when the election was announced, there was near-universal agreement that it’s all going to be one big garbage time. Prime Minister Bibi will cake-walk it to a second consecutive – and third overall – term in office, and the Right-dominated Israeli status quo of the 2000s will continue. I tended to agree with this view, but with this caveat: in Israel, anyone who calls the election results 3 months in advance is a fool. Then, … Read entire article »

Gaza Ceasefire: Giving Thanks to President Obama

There is a ceasefire in Gaza. It remains to be seen if and when the promise to open Gaza to normal civilian movement, laconically stated in the ceasefire agreement, will be fulfilled. On Friday, less than 48 hours after its enactment, the first bad sign appeared. In at least two locations near the border fence, Gaza residents assuming that now Israel’s unilateral 500m “buffer zone” inside the Strip was history – after all, it said so in the agreement (read in the link above) – and one man was shot dead, others wounded. It seems that enforcing the ceasefire and its follow-up will demand some engagement from third parties. But still, we can be thankful. The … Read entire article »

Let’s Stop Bibi Netanyahu’s Sickening “Wag the Dog” Ploy

Part of expatriate life is worrying for the health of elderly overseas parents. My father-in-law’s health is bad enough to worry about, even without this recent crap. My wife’s parents live in Moshav Shahar, Israel, some 15km from the Gaza Strip as the missile flies. Their home has nothing even remotely resembling a shelter; some government functionaries going from house to house told them the best place in case of a missile alert, is to crouch under the staircase. Fortunately for them, they live a rural area and not much of a target. Thursday, morning, however, found them going to my dad-in-law’s doctor’s appointment in Ashkelon – the largest town in the Strip’s vicinity, and one … Read entire article »

How NOT to Introduce New Green-Tech: The Cautionary Tale of Israel’s “Better Place”

We have just ended four weeks during which Israeli business and politics were almost completely shut down due to a spate of Jewish holidays. There’s a known refrain in Hebrew: “After the Holidays”, meaning “Don’t worry, we’ll get back to you sometime in October, if at all.” In other words, last week was the perfect week in Israel for a bad news dump. Israel’s iconic CEO Shai Agassi has been fired from his position at the electric car company Better Place. He will be replaced by Evan Thornley, the current CEO of Better Place Australia. …Agassi was fired amid massive financial losses, according to Haaretz headlines this morning. …We reported earlier this year that Better Place was bleeding … Read entire article »

Netanyahu’s UN Speech also had REALLY-NOT-FUNNY parts…

…but they were completely upstaged by his Wile E. Coyote climax. These parts are highly worth revisiting. Bibi’s brazen, out-and-out racism and lunatic brand of nationalist-supremacy, were expressed in no uncertain terms upon the United Nations stage. The man’s true colors were there for all to see. I owe the discovery of the lesser-known first half of Bibi’s speech, to Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zahr, a.k.a. The Civil Arab. Myself, I was probably going to ignore the Bibi speech altogether – had the Web not suddenly exploded with images of Acme bombs. But Zahr, as he says, must listen: As a Palestinian, I tuned in. It’s my duty. Plus, I say the guy’s name at least … Read entire article »

Bibi’s Wile E. Coyote UN Speech: a Symbol of Right-Wing Politicians’ Disdain for Everyone

Bibi’s Wile E. Coyote UN Speech: a Symbol of Right-Wing Politicians’ Disdain for Everyone

Beyond everything else, it was a good laugh. Here he is, the Village Idiot that my countrymen and women back home cannot find a way to get rid of, standing on the United Nations podium with the smug self-importance only a Village Idiot can muster, and drawing a red line on Wile E. Coyote’s cartoon bomb: On the first, second and … Read entire article »